Madrid, Jan 29 (AFP/APP): With tensions soaring in Europe over vaccine supply shortages, the crisis has come to a head in Spain with regional vaccination campaigns delayed or even halted as doses run out.
As worldwide cases soar past 100 million, global governments are scrambling to get their hands on scarce vaccine supplies, with a bitter row erupting between Brussels and London over the AstraZeneca jab.
Although Spain secured early supply deals, delays in shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have piled pressure on its 17 regions, which are responsible for managing the pandemic.
“We have had to suspend new first doses for at least the next two weeks due to lack of vaccine,” Ignacio Aguado, deputy head of the Madrid region, said Wednesday, urging the government “to move heaven and earth” to get more supplies.
Catalonia’s health chief also said the region had practically finished its reserve supplies, warning that within days “the refrigerators will be empty”. And at the weekend, the southern Andalucia region halted its programme because its strategic supplies were almost used up.
“Since no vaccines arrived last week, we had to draw on the strategic reserve that was gradually running out, so we stopped at the weekend so we could continue on Monday with what was left,” a regional health ministry source told AFP.
By Tuesday afternoon, the central government had sent in emergency supplies and the campaign resumed.
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